Fwd: Microscope Slides of Pollen

David W. Kramer kramer.8 at OSU.EDU
Mon Dec 21 11:54:20 EST 1998

Help!  I'm asking subscribers to Plant-Ed listserve and members of the
Education Committee of the Botanical Society of America to respond to
Judith Larsen at the Cincinnati Museum who needs help with upgrading an
exhibit.  The exhibit explains how scientists can reconstruct ancient
climates from pollen in lake sediments.  They have microscope slides of
pollen from five extant genera (see below) and invite visitors to examine
the slides on the microscope to determine for themselves that pollen grains
have different sizes, shapes, and surface features.

The slides used now were prepared several years ago, they think by a grad
student at the University of Minnesota.  Over the years, the slides have
badly deteriorated by exposure to light (they're left on the microscope for
many hours) so that visitors have trouble even finding the pollen on the
slides, not to mention difficulty in seeing the details.

The museum would like to obtain new slides, heavily stained, of the same
species.  If you can supply these slides, they would like more than one set
so they can store some slides in the dark, for future use.  Notice that
they want JUST ONE KIND OF POLLEN PER SLIDE, concentrated.

Judith would also like your suggestions for ways they might reduce light
damage to the slides.  If the microscope is turned on and off by a
conventional switch, the visitors will forget to turn it off or not know
how to turn it back on.  Suggestions would be welcomed.  I think that if
Christmas trees can be made to sing, frogs to croak, etc. when people walk
by, surely the microscope can be turned on when visitors sit in front of
it!  Other suggestions?

If you can supply these slides or know of some other source, you can reply
directly to Judith Larsen at Britta.Larsen at Law.UC.Edu
OR PREFERABLY by fax or phone as noted below.  Thanks for your help in the
interest of science education.

Dave Kramer
>Dear Dr. Kramer,
>As I mentioned on the telephone, we are looking for replacement slides for
>our exhibit on the ice age.  The slides should have a high concentration
>of the pollen to make it easier for visitors to find examples.  We also
>would like a stain preparation that will withstand light for a relatively
>long time period.  The species needed are:
>	Picea glauca (white spruce)
>	Acer rubrum (red maple)
>	Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
>	Ambrosia psilostachya (ragweed)
>	Pinus banksiana (Jack pine)
>The slides were all prepared with samples of species living now (hence,
>not from any ancient site).  The text above the microscopes reads
>approximately: "Once you collect pollen from lake beds you must identify
>it.  Look through the microscopes to see the different shapes and sizes."
>Thank you so much for being willing to help us search for these.
>			Sincerely,  Judith Larsen
>			Exhibit Project Coordinator/Evaluation
>	respond to      Fax 513 287 7029
>	        or      Phone 513 287 7000, ext 7241
>			home fax (also phone, so disregard message)
>			  513 961 7457
>			Thanks again.
David W. Kramer, Ph.D.
Asst. Prof. of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
Ohio State University at Mansfield
1680 University Drive
Mansfield, OH  44906-1547
Phone:  (419) 755-4344      FAX:  (419) 755-4367
e-mail:  kramer.8 at osu.edu

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